Astana as Financial Center of Turkic World: Elevating Economic and Investment Potential in Central Asia

ASTANA — Designating Astana as the financial center of the Turkic world will enhance the city’s standing as a vital economic and financial hub in the region, providing a platform to highlight the country’s immense potential and attractive investment opportunities, commented the Astana International Financial Centre press service on Nov. 9, following the announcement made by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during the 10th-anniversary Organization of Turkic States (OTS) Summit last week. 

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Elaborating on Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OTS, Tokayev urged expansion of interregional trade and investment in the economy. 

“The Turkic Investment Fund has a unique role in this endeavor. To improve economic relations, it is necessary to establish a market for “green” finance.” he noted and thanked the participants for supporting the initiative of assigning the city of Astana the status of a financial center of the Turkic world. 

The decision to assign this status to Astana was made following the provision on granting certain statuses to cities of the Turkic world, approved during the Istanbul Summit in 2021. The document established the criteria for assigning the appropriate status to cities in the participating countries of the OTS. In particular, the candidate city must be a political, commercial, scientific, and cultural center of the Turkic world and play a vital role in Turkic civilization blossoming throughout history.

Astana is located next to the medieval settlement of Bozok, which served as a center of trade and crafts from the 8th to the 16th centuries and a point along the route of the Great Silk Road.

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The Belt and Road initiative, which focuses on developing infrastructure and financing international transport corridors, was also announced for the first time in Astana. Infrastructure projects of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, including Caspian Integrated Maritime Solutions and KPMC

(a joint venture between PSA International Pte Ltd, a port operator and supply chain company with flagship operations in Singapore and Antwerp, and Kazakhstan Railways), are based in the AIFC.

The AIFC Green Finance Centre (GFC) operates as the regional office for the Green Investment Principles within the Belt and Road Initiative. Proactively championing sustainable finance in the region, the GFC has played a pivotal role in facilitating the issuance of green and social bonds in Kyrgyz Republic.

Astana has solidified its standing as a premier financial center in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a recognition echoed by its placement in the Global Financial Centres Index. Functioning as a financial hub, the AIFC plays a crucial role in attracting investors and supporting businesses, providing an environment conducive to company growth not only in Central Asia but also beyond. 

Additionally, the Astana Financial Services Authority has forged agreements and memorandums with financial regulators from the OTS member countries, including Türkiye and the Kyrgyz Republic. These agreements facilitate information exchange and the supervision and regulation of activities conducted by these organizations.

The AIFC, operating as an independent jurisdiction, boasts a favorable legal and regulatory environment along with a developed infrastructure for commencing and conducting business. This makes it an attractive destination for investments, job creation, and the overall economic development of Kazakhstan.

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